Disclaimer: Neither Angel/Buffy nor Lord Of The Rings belong to me. All kudos to Joss Whedon and Tolkien.
Spoilers: Buffy to the end. Angel post-Season 4, pre-Season 5. Lord Of The Rings - just after Aragorn gets crowned king.
Author’s Note: Yay! A proper chapter. Hope it's enjoyable.
“So, the last day of Angel Investigations begins.”
Angel sat in the foyer of the Hyperion with his colleagues. The clock had just ticked over to midnight. In 32 hours they would all be working at Wolfram & Hart.
Fred chimed in, trying to cheer everyone up. “I vote we have a farewell party with dancing and Dixie Chicks!” They all looked at her. “Well, ya know, not the actual Dixie Chicks but their CDs. I doubt that they’d be interested in coming to our little party.”
Angel interrupted, trying to stop her from going into one of her run-on sentences. “Fred. No parties.”
Since Angel had accepted Wolfram & Hart’s offer to take over ownership of their LA branch, the gang had been in a rather depressed state of mind.
Angel moved on. “Anyway, is everyone packed and ready to go?” They all nodded. “Don’t forget, it’s not too late to back out of the deal for you guys. I was the one who accepted the deal, you can still walk away.”
“I’m behind you all the way boss,” Lorne replied.
“Me too,” said Gunn.
“Me three!” said Fred in her usual chirpy way.
Wesley paused for a moment. “Although I’m rather concerned about working in that place, I trust you. I hope that….”
Suddenly, there was a loud slam as the doors of the Hyperion burst open.
“Angel! Gunn! Help!”
Standing in the doorway was a familiar face. She had deep cuts on her arms and was bleeding rather badly.
“Gwen!” Gunn shouted as he raced to her aid. “Are you OK?”
“Do I look OK?” she snapped back.
Angel and Gunn helped her to a seat. Angel turned to Fred. “Fred - bandages, antiseptic, the whole shebang.”
Fred raced off.
“Did I just say ‘shebang’?” Angel said out-loud. He turned towards Lorne. “Lorne, you’re a bad influence.”
“Hey!” replied Lorne, slightly offended.
“More pressing issue here Angel,” Gunn interrupted.
Fred came back with a first-aid kit and proceeded to dab Gwen’s wounds and then started to bandage her up. She also gave her some strong painkillers.
They waited for the painkillers to kick in before questioning her. “What happened to you?” Wesley asked her.
“Well, I was walking home from a night on the town,” Gwen replied.
Fred butted in. “You mean a night of ‘thieving’, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah, that too. Anyway, I was walking down an alley – the one near Chifley Boulevard – when something slashed at me from the dark and I fell backwards onto the ground. I looked up and saw a hideous creature standing above me. I rolled away, took off my gloves, got up, and let him have it.”
“Ah, I’m sure that taught him a lesson,” said Lorne.
“Well, I mustn’t be a good teacher because he didn’t even flinch. He just kept walking towards me,” said Gwen shakily.
“Hey, how did you use your lightning attack anyway? I thought you were ‘switched-off’?” asked Gunn.
“Whenever I go on a job I always ‘turn myself on’,” Gwen replied with a wink.
Gwen continued her tale. “Back to my near-death experience. After my ‘freak-gift’ did nothing, I attempted to take the thing on hand-to-hand but unfortunately this thing didn’t have hands. It had arms that ended in very sharp blades and its whole body seemed to be made of hard scales. So, taking it on in a fight wasn’t a good idea, as I soon found out. I pummelled it with all I had but it just stood there and didn’t feel a thing. Then it started to slash at me and that’s how I got all these cuts on my arms. Then another one appeared right behind it, so I ran.”
“You were lucky you survived,” said Angel as he picked up his mug of blood. “What possessed you to take that thing on?”
Gwen gave a wry smile. “Well, I AM a superhero, ya know.”
Angel forced a smile. “We should really get you to a hospital.”
“No, I’ll be fine. If I could just lie down somewhere for a week or two, that would be great,” yawned Gwen. The painkillers were starting to make her very drowsy now.
Wesley and Gunn carried her to a free room.
Upon there return, Angel stood up, took a swig of blood and addressed the group. “OK, folks. I think we have time for one more case before we work for the enemy, don’t you?” He gave a sly grin.
The mood in the room lifted at once.
“Oh yeah!” replied Gunn
“Sounds good to me,” said Wesley in his usual calm manner.
“Go Team Angel!” exclaimed Fred.
“Amen. Sing it, sister!” shouted Lorne.
“Lorne, don’t ever call me that again,” said Angel looking at Lorne.
Lorne gave a cheeky smirk. “Sorry boss.”
Angel put on his pensive face. “OK, here’s the plan. Gunn, Wesley, Lorne – break out the arsenal, you’re coming with me. Fred – look after Gwen and see if you can do some research on the creature.”
Gunn grabbed a sword, 2 daggers, and a large axe from the weapon rack. Lorne grabbed a crossbow and some small throwing axes. Wesley carried his shotgun, 2 handguns, 2 grenades, and his collapsible sword, so he didn’t really need anything else. Angel grabbed his favourite sword plus 2 smaller swords.
“Right. Let’s do it,” announced Angel.
The four of them headed for the door, solemnly aware that this was the last case for the Angel Investigations team.